This Friday night, Vendor Night at the Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts and Sciences benefits Bellarine Theatre Co.’s 2017 production season – the company’s seventh and perhaps most ambitious yet. The fundraiser starts at 7 p.m.
Ditch the Facebook scene and join the Bellarine crew and their friends and supporters for a fun night of shopping from Pampered Chef, Thirty-One, LulaRoe and more. Light refreshments will be provided, and guests are welcome to bring beverages of choice.
Admission is free, but donations will be accepted at the door. Tickets for 2017 shows will be for sale, and door prizes will be awarded.
The year ahead for Bellarine promises plenty of colorful classics and family favorites. First up is “James and the Giant Peach Jr.,” March 31 to April 2 at LBIF. Poignant and quirky, “Junior” is a brand new take on Roald Dahl’s “masterpeach” of a tale. Described as witty and charming with a wickedly tuneful score, it’s an adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery. When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, which rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.
Bellarine’s first full-length play, “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling, runs the weekend of May 12 at LBIF. The play’s NYC premiere was met with immediate critical and popular acceptance. Concerning a group of gossipy Southern ladies in a small-town beauty parlor, the play is alternately sharp and hilarious, touching and tragic – and, in the end, deeply revealing of the strength and purposefulness which underlies the antic banter of its characters.
Next is “Cry-Baby the Musical,” sometime in August, at Pinelands Regional High School. Based on the 1990 cult classic by John Waters, “Cry-Baby” features a delightfully demented book from the writers of “Hairspray” and a rockabilly score from the co-founder of Fountains of Wayne and the executive producer of “The Daily Show.”
Set in 1954, everyone likes Ike, nobody likes communism, and Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker is the coolest boy in Baltimore. He’s a bad boy with a good cause: truth, justice and the pursuit of rock ’n’ roll. Cry-Baby and the square rich girl, Allison, are star-crossed lovers at the center of this world. Fueled by hormones and the new rhythms of rock ’n’ roll, she turns her back on her squeaky-clean boyfriend, Baldwin, to become a “drape” (Baltimorese for juvenile delinquent) and Cry-Baby’s moll. It’s Romeo and Juliet meets High School Hellcats.
The third weekend in November will bring “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” to LBIF. The storyline is “an average day in the life of Charlie Brown” – a day made up of little moments picked from all the days of Charlie Brown, from Valentine’s Day to the baseball season, from wild optimism to utter despair, all mixed in with the lives of his friends (both human and non-human) and strung together on the string of a single day, from bright uncertain morning to hopeful starlit evening.
For more information, visit bellarinetheatre.com or call 609-661-2083. —V.F.